6 Common Mistakes Tender Writers Make

Given the sheer amount of time and effort put in by a Tender Writer to create their submission, it can be gut-wrenching to find out the submission was not successful due to a common mistake. Whilst a Tender Writer does not expect to win every single submission they make, their success percentage can be significantly improved by reducing or eliminating these errors.

Not Addressing ALL Requirements

Requirements can ‘seem’ to be clearly stated, however the Tender Writer in Sydney should watch for obscurities such as references to other documents or links and be sure to read these in detail, making notes or highlighting points as they go. Whilst is sounds obvious, watching for words such as ‘and’ ensures that a secondary part of a requirement is not missed. A surprising number of people only see part of what they read, so when requirements are banded together in this way, it is easy for them to be missed.

There may be times when there are points in requirements that are noted as ‘optional’. On the surface, this sounds like something a Tender Writer in Brisbane could skip, that is not the best approach. Every submission that omits the optional parts will be seen as ‘less than’ those submissions which include them. This puts these submissions behind the eight-ball no matter how fantastic the rest of the submission is.

Lack of Detail in Responses

A good Tender Writer will always look at the questions being asked in the TENDER INVITATION from the perspective of the person who wrote the TENDER INVITATION. What are they looking for? What might impress them and stand out in a sea of responses? Does the respondent seem to have a detailed understanding of the solution they are being asked to provide and do they have the experience to deliver. The Tender Writer should use every opportunity to provide as much detail as possible to answer the questions being asked in the TENDER INVITATION, but also to address the questions mentioned here. The Tender Writer demonstrates how requirements can be met, drawing on experiences and projects from the past where relevant. Most importantly, ensure the responses do not raise more questions than they answer.

Missing Key Terms and Conditions

It is vital for a Tender Writer to read through every Term and Condition carefully to ensure there are no specific statements that might preclude their submission. For example, the TENDER INVITATION might be seeking meals to be supplied to a retirement centre. However, the terms may state that submissions must utilise a set percentage of locally sourced produce or ingredients. The Tender Writer must ensure that they identify this early to ascertain whether they can meet the brief, rather than consume a lot of time and resource submitting for a tender in which they cannot satisfy this requirement. Another key point that may get missed in the terms is the length of time in which quoted prices must remain current. As the post-Covid shipping crisis hit Australia, some imported items increase four-fold over the course of 12 months. If an TENDER INVITATION has no allowance for price variations, then a Tender Writer may be able to find a creative way to introduce terms into their submission which limits their price-exposure risk. However, if this risk cannot be mitigated then the Tender Writer may decide it is better to not respond to that Tender Invitation.


A Tender Writer must always ensure that their response does not over-promise yet put the organisation at risk of under-delivering if they win the job. Being very clear on what an organisation is and is not capable of delivering is vital for a Tender Writer to articulate when tender writing a response. Offering a solution which an organisation cannot deliver, whether it is dur to financial, time or resource constraints, puts that organisation at risk of legal action should they be chosen as the winning Tender, yet unable to deliver. Tender Writers must be very clear on what the organisation is able to deliver and find ways to either outsource or exclude those parts of a Tender which they are unable to satisfy. If this is not possible, then the Tender Writer should be discerning enough to not submit a response.

Price Cutting

One of the very worst mistakes a Tender Writer can make is extensive price cutting without any caveats to protect the organisation. There is very little point in winning a tender if the organisation stands to lose money in the process, and potentially take on other collateral damage as well (staff exiting due to stress, reputational risk, etc). There may be ways to present prices that are significantly discounted, however the Tender Writer must be able to add their own Terms and Conditions or surcharges that would enable them to recoup the discounted costs sufficiently to bring the project into profit.

Not Being Selective

There are times when the Tender Invitation, at face value, may be presenting an extremely lucrative opportunity for an organisation. However, closer inspection may identify that for an organisation to deliver against the tender, it would put other projects at risk, put staff under extreme stress or prevent the organisation from taking on any other work for which they may have already submitted proposals. Such opportunities can create a make-or-break situation for an organisation, however if the ’break’ risk is significantly higher than the ‘make’ chances, then it may be better to let this one go. An experienced Tender Writer must have enough experience and discernment to identify this quickly to prevent creating an untenable result.

This article highlights the strong case for having professional and experienced Tender Writer in your corner when writing submissions. If your organisation does not have time, capacity or skill to write the responses, however the company is a perfect fit for the Tender, then a professional Tender Writing service like Red Tape Busters can provide the perfect solution.



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Red Tape Buster

Red Tape Busters, Grant Writing Company offers tender writing, job applications writing, resume writer, government lobbying and private sector issues in Queen.